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Warning as scarlet fever spike continues in area

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 04, 2014

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MORE than 30 cases of scarlet fever have now been reported in East Staffordshire.

Public Health England (PHE) and Staffordshire County Council are continuing to advise parents to remain vigilant for signs of the illness as confirmed cases continue to rise.

The new figures means that East Staffordshire has the highest number of youngsters with scarlet fever in the county, more than double anywhere else.

Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet support member for public health, said: “Although scarlet fever was once a serious illness the good news is that these days it can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics.

“However, with cases still on the increase in Staffordshire we are asking parents to remain vigilant for signs and to contact their GP if they are concerned their child may have scarlet fever.”

Symptoms include a characteristic rash, sore throat, fever and headache and is most common in children under the age of eight, although adults can also develop the fever.

Schools, nurseries and child care settings are also being encouraged to follow good hand hygiene practice within daily routines for pupils and staff urged to alert local PHE health protection teams if an outbreak of scarlet fever is suspected.

Children and adults should be encouraged to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough and sneeze and to wash their hands after using or disposing of tissues

The county continues to have the highest number of children diagnosed with the infectious disease in the West Midlands – with 116 cases reported since September.

Public Health England say nationally 8,305 new cases have now been reported since the season began in September 2013. Investigations also continue to assess whether a new strain may have emerged.

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